Skype outage causing connectivity issues, company says it’s a “global incident”

Microsoft’s recently updated communications app Skype has been suffering connectivity issues which began on Monday, June 19th, and are continuing today. After hours of downtime on Monday, the company confirmed the issue via a blog post and tweet, which stated that an incident was causing users to either lose connectivity to the application or lose their ability to send and receive messages.

Some users were also unable to see a black bar indicating an ongoing group call, while others may have had delays in adding users to their buddy list, Microsoft’s post said.

The Skype Support Twitter account has this morning referred to the outage as a “global incident.”

These problems could be related to some sort of system glitch or bug, but they could also be caused by an attack on Skype’s network. It’s unclear for now which is to blame. Microsoft has not yet detailed the causes, nor any information about how those problems are being addressed.

We’re trying to get more information now from Microsoft, and will update as it arrives.

Filling the informational void, some sites, including Panda Security and CNET, are reporting a DDoS attack may be the cause. They are citing a tweet from a group of cybercriminals who go by the name “CyberTeam,” whose Twitter claims to have caused the crash. The team also promised to take down video game site Steam next.

But as Microsoft has not yet pointed the finger at any group, nor has it even referred to the incident as an “attack,” this sort of claim needs to be taken with the proverbial grain of salt for the time being.

In addition, Ryan Olson, threat intelligence director of the Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 threat research team, notes there’s no firm evidence at present that this is the result of any particular attack.

“Since Mirai, people have understandably been concerned once more about DDoS attacks that could be carried out by IoT devices. Currently there’s no evidence of that at work here,” he adds.

The incident, details of which have been circulating on Twitter under the #skypedown hashtag, appears to have largely affected users in the U.K. and elsewhere in Europe, according to outage maps on DownDetector’s website.

We also understand from people close to the situation at Microsoft that Europe is the primary region affected. But Microsoft has not 100 percent confirmed this, which is why it has not yet been announced.

However, users on the DownDetector site posting from the affected regions on Tuesday morning were still reporting a mix of “it’s back” and “still down” comments. Plus, given Skype’s own tweet referencing the global nature of the incident, it appears that users outside the highlighted regions may also have been affected. But again, details are still sparse on that for now.

It also appears that Microsoft had believed the issue to be fixed earlier on June 19th, according to one tweet, which claimed the issue was resolved. Following that update, the company’s support account then continued to say that the issue is ongoing to incoming complaints from users on Tuesday.

Microsoft tells TechCrunch it’s looking into what it can share with us about the incident, and we’ll update accordingly.

Update, 6/20/17, 11 AM ET: Microsoft has updated its post to say that it’s seeing improvements, but some users may still be experiencing issues.

Update, 6/20/2017, 4 PM ET: Microsoft has now updated the post to say it has made some configuration corrections and mitigated the impact. “We are continuing to monitor and we will post an update when the issue is fully resolved,” the company noted.

But users are continuing to report after 5 PM ET on Tuesday that they’re still having issues. In some cases, Microsoft advised them to uninstall and reinstall Skype.